Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Carla and Doug Kerr in Abiquiu, New Mexico Visiting Georgia O'Keefe's Home and Studio

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

We enjoyed another excellent breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express in Los Alamos before heading out to Abiquiu, New Mexico for a professionally led tour of Georgia O'Keefe's home and studio. What a beautiful setting for an artist and I can see why she fell in love with this area. The mountains are intensely colorful and inspiring. The curator was quite knowledgeable and began his running commentary after we watched a short film. We then all went to a shuttle bus which took us to the home and studio.

The Georgia O'Keefe Tour Office next door to the Abiquiu Inn
The gentleman in the reddish shirt is a our tour guide and we are standing in front of Georgia O'Keefe's 7000 square foot adobe home.
Georgia loved the plants and rocks of the desert
This is the main courtyard
These are tamarisk trees, in the courtyard, giant water drinkers so not necessarily great in New Mexico with our droughts, but they are beautiful in their green with pink flowers. They are extremely invasive trees which is another drawback.
We've been through most of the interior of the house where no photography is allowed and are now outside in the garden and orchard area.
I am intently looking at her rock collection. There were hundreds of them outside and inside the home. The curator said, "If you wanted to make Georgia happy when you visited, just bring her a rock, a bone or flowers."
He is telling us about the orchard and garden
Another door to some room
This is the garden which is maintained every year and tended by some of the High School students in the area
They only water the garden and orchard once a month for two hours and the water feeds in from an acequia (a water system adopted here in New Mexico).
This is the Elk Antlers Georgia O'Keefe posed under for one of her portraits
Sculptures by Georgia O'Keefe in yet another courtyard
These are the iconic doors that she painted numerous times from different perspectives
There was very little of her art in the home. It is all mostly in the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. She was a complete minimalist and everything in her home had a definite purpose or it didn't stay long. There were several sculptures. The decor was, like herself, mostly earth tones and white. She had a pantry to die for with floor to ceiling shelves filled with items necessary to maintain the kitchen part of the household. While we were in the garden area the curator revealed to us that Georgia hated pesticides of any description. At one time, they were visited by hordes of grasshoppers eating up her garden. She went into town and bought a flock of baby turkeys to take care of the grasshoppers and at Thanksgiving, she gave turkeys away to everyone. Brilliant!

During her later years she suffered from macular degeneration, but she managed to arrange herself and her artwork so that she could see out of the outside of each eye and still paint. She did have caretakers as she grew older. She lived to 98-1/2 years of age, was married from 1924 to 1946 to Alfred Steiglitz, also an artist and gallery owner, until his death. There were no children. Her estate is worth 70 million dollars today. There is also the Ghost Ranch not far from Abiquiu that she owned. Unfortunately, the house was unknowingly built over two rattlesnake dens so she always had to be aware of snakes when there. The curator says there are still many snakes there.
This was just the best way to end our trip to northern New Mexico. We traveled back to Los Alamos, packed up and drove home to Alamogordo, New Mexico. What wonderful way to celebrate our 18th Wedding Anniversary and Father's Day for Doug!
This is all I have to say for now.

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